5 Life Lessons Every Scout Learns

5 Life Lessons Every Scout Learns

These skills are something that I'll take with me throughout my life.

One of the things that I don't regret doing while growing up is being a part of the Boy Scouts of America. Sure, there was some jokes and teasing from others, but looking back at it, I wouldn't have changed it. There were some times I was fed up with my peers, and other times when I had a great time. But there's something that the organization did help me achieve and that is the many life skills that I learned throughout the years. These skills are ones that have helped me pitch and lead my Boy Scout Eagle Rank Project (the highest rank as a youth in the organization), as well as participate in a National Youth Leadership Training course to help other youths learn these skills. This year I will be attending the seminar as an adult volunteer, but will still be working with youth to channel their inner leadership skills. Here are a few skills that I picked up in my Scouting career that everyone should have.

1) Leadership - If anyone has had a job or has done group work in class, you'd notice that someone is in charge. In a work environment, your boss may not actually be able to lead, express their ideas and thoughts, or control a situation. This is an example of someone who doesn't have leadership skills. A leader is there to assist their peers, share ideas, and help with the work. They should be able to help diffuse a situation and should try to achieve the overall goal of the job - success.

2) Public Speaking - Public Speaking is an essential skill to have in a schooling environment, as well as a work environment. Being able to get up in front of 30 or more people and give a presentation on a topic is something that your boss may have you do as part of your job. This skill can also help if you are seeking to talk at a TEDx event about a topic or issue that you're passionate about. Tips for this skill include having nice posture, not speaking with your hands as much, stopping the use of filler or thinking words (um, like, yeah, etc.), and if you are using a presentation aid, such as PowerPoint slides, not to look back at the screen.

3) Being Prepared - This skill is probably a very basic one, but you'd be surprised how many people don't practice this. Disaster can happen at any time, and you should be ready for the worst. In fact, the Boy Scout Motto is to Be Prepared. In the organization, we strive to teach everyone the importance of being prepared for an event, task, or situation that may arise. This could be knowing a skill, having correct gear or materials for an event, or just knowing what to do in an event.

4) Volunteering - Giving back to the community is something everyone should be doing. Easy ways for achieving this is to donate money, old clothes, or old household items, work in a soup kitchen, volunteer time at a local animal shelter, or spend some time with senior citizens to keep them company. In scouting, any youth who wants to attain the Eagle Scout rank has to do a leadership project. Usual projects include building signs for towns and cemeteries, renovating church courtyards, donation drives, and other building projects. For my project (which was done about 3 years ago and about 50 extra pounds), I did a donation drive for Pets Alive, a local no-kill animal shelter. I was able to give back to the community, as well as help out little fur-balls who needed supplies!

5) Goal Setting - Setting a goal for yourself is a great way to try and achieve something. In scouting, we have tried to instill a motto on how to set goals, and that is using SMART goal planning. The SMART acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Making goals in this manner will help you achieve your full vision of the future, and for you to achieve your dream.

Even though I have aged out of the youth portion of the Boy Scouts of America, I now volunteer as an Adult Leader. I can still help youth, as well as other adults, learn these skills and teach them how to use them in everyday life. If you are looking into joining a Boy Scout style program, but are over 18, fear not! Until you are 21, you can join a Venture Crew! They do a lot of the same things that the Boy Scouts of America does, but allows older "youth" scouters. But what if you're over 18? Again, fear not! You can still join a local Scout troop and volunteer as an adult leader. The Boy Scouts of America holds seminars for adult leaders to learn these same skills that the youth are learning.

Cover Image Credit: Boy Scouts of America

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19 Disney Quotes To Get You Through The Semester

Sometimes we need a little magic to get through the semester

Everyone has been effected in some sort of way by Disney. For many, you grow up with Disney influencing who you want to be when you grow up, and what you want to do with your life. Here are 19 Disney quotes to get you through this upcoming semester.

"Venture outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it." - Rapunzel (Tangled)

"The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all." - The Emperor (Mulan)

"A true hero isn't measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart." - Zeus (Hercules)

"Don't just fly, soar." - Dumbo (Dumbo)

"The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem." -- Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean)

“Even miracles take a little time.” — Fairy Godmother (Cinderella)

“If you focus on what you left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead.” — Gusteau (Ratatouille)

“You control your destiny — you don’t need magic to do it. And there are no magical shortcuts to solving your problems.” — Merida (Brave)

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” — Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins)

“Believe you can, then you will.” — Mulan

“Today is a good day to try.” — Quasimodo

“The things that make me different are the things that make me ME.” — Piglet

“Our fate lives within us. You only have to be brave enough to see it.” — Merida (Brave)

“Giving up is for rookies.” — Philoctetes (Hercules)

“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” — (Pooh’s Most Grand Adventure)

“Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.” — Grandmother Willow (Pocahontas)

“The only thing predictable about life is its unpredictability.” — Remy (Ratatouille)

“Always let your conscience be your guide.” — Pinocchio

“Adventure is out there!” -Charles Muntz

Cover Image Credit: Jessie Searles

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7 Things Vocal Music Majors Are Tired Of Hearing

I just want to be taken seriously as a college student studying music and singing.

This past semester I decided to change my intended major from biology to music. I love to sing, it's something I'm good at, so I thought, why not make this my major! I can go to school and do something I love rather than wanting to kill myself in organic chemistry.

However, with this new major has come very many new challenges.

As a biology major, I was never second-guessed by my peers, family, and friends, but as a music major that is basically my life.

Basically, every response I get to my major is something doubtful or an assumption. I guess this can be said about a lot of other majors too. I just want to be taken seriously as a college student studying music and singing, just like I would be if I was studying science.

Here are seven things that vocal music majors like myself are tired of hearing, and yes the VOCAL part matters apparently.

1. "What instrument do you play?"

Every time, without a doubt, I tell someone I am a music major, their first response is to always ask what instrument I play. My response is usually pretty awkward because I don't really play an instrument, I sing. Sometimes I just respond with "I play myself" (followed by a very confused look from the other person).

2. "Oh but do you play any instruments?"

Because apparently singing isn't enough.

3. "So you want to be a teacher?"

Almost everytime I tell someone I'm studying music, I get the "teacher assumption." A lot of other majors can relate to this, like English and history. But seriously, would you assume a chem major is planning on being a chemistry teacher?? NO! So stop assuming. (even though I do want to be a teacher so yes your assumption is right BUT STILL).

4. "Do you do a Capella?"

No, I am in a REAL choir because I'm a REAL singer. (but if you do a Capella I am not criticizing you, you do you boo).

5. "I bet being a music major is super easy."

How about you go take a music theory class and then come back and tell me how easy it is to be a music major.

6. "Omg you're a singer! Sing for me!"

Uhm, no. You wouldn't ask a mathematician to solve a crazy equation for you in order to prove themselves worthy of being called a mathematician, right? So stop making me feel like I have to prove myself to you.

7. "That's so interesting and cool that you're studying music."

Yeah, you're right it is interesting and cool, but it's also practical and smart. Stop trying to cover up your doubts about my decision by making it seem like my major is just something "cool" that I'm doing.

Cover Image Credit: Caitlin Catterton

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